On September 3, 2010 an article appeared in the Sun Times that seemed to garner a lot of attention. Our esteemed Grey Bruce Owen Sound MP Larry Miller accused native fishermen of net fishing in the area of Colpoy’s Bay. According to an article written by Scott Dunn, Miller “called for charges to be laid if native fishermen set nets Friday morning in Colpoys Bay.” Now those are serious accusations.
I’d assume he had some hard evidence to back up this claim. But as I read the article further I became skeptical. MNR officials didn’t seem so convinced. I thought I’d wait and see how events unfolded.
Well that didn’t take long!
The next day, in an article in the Sun Times, the Wiarton Yacht Club’s race director said it’s “a racing buoy marker that’s off the end of Colpoys Bay dock, not anything to do with gill nets.” Apparently they use these markers every year for races and have been for 30 years.
Had Mr. Miller taken the time to do some fact-finding he would have known that. The investigation wouldn’t have been that complicated. It could have been a simple email or phone call.
Instead of being thorough, Miller acted on impulse and now he finds himself in a situation he could and should have avoided. If he didn’t have the time to do the research he should have delegated his staff to do it.
Miller has offended the First Nations community and they have every right to be angry about the accusations he has made.
He has found himself once again instigating trouble when there are other important issues at hand that he is not dealing with….nuclear waste management, child poverty, Afghanistan…
There is hope. There will be a federal election in 2012 and perhaps local Conservatives will decide that Mr. Miller isn’t the right fit for them. But until then there is one thing for certain. He owes the First Nations community a BIG apology right away and he needs to do some explaining soon and very soon.
Here are the links to the articles.